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Pierre Monteux

Pierre Monteux (1875–1964) was a French conductor and violinist who became famous for his championing of the works of classical composers such as Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Monteux was a student of the famous teacher Charles Lamoureux and made his conducting debut in Paris in 1899. He then moved to the United States and served as the chief conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1919 to 1924, and the San Francisco Symphony from 1936 to 1952.

Monteux was renowned for his precise interpretations of classical works, and he was particularly known for his ability to bring out the clarity and detail of a piece without sacrificing its overall structure and emotion. He was also a master of orchestral dynamics and balance, and he was the first conductor to conduct The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky in Paris in 1913.

Monteux's most famous albums include Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé (1957) and Debussy: Images & Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (1954). He also recorded numerous works by Ravel, Stravinsky, Berlioz, and other composers. Some of his most notable recordings include Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (1951), Debussy: La Mer (1956), Ravel: Boléro (1957), and Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 (1957).

An interesting fact about Pierre Monteux is that he was the first conductor to ever conduct a piece of music in stereo, which was a recording of The Rite of Spring in Paris in 1953. This was the first time stereo was used for a recording and it revolutionized the recording industry.